Python – How to output list of floats to a binary file in Python


I have a list of floating-point values in Python:

floats = [3.14, 2.7, 0.0, -1.0, 1.1]

I would like to write these values out to a binary file using IEEE 32-bit encoding. What is the best way to do this in Python? My list actually contains about 200 MB of data, so something "not too slow" would be best.

Since there are 5 values, I just want a 20-byte file as output.

Best Solution

Alex is absolutely right, it's more efficient to do it this way:

from array import array
output_file = open('file', 'wb')
float_array = array('d', [3.14, 2.7, 0.0, -1.0, 1.1])

And then read the array like that:

input_file = open('file', 'rb')
float_array = array('d')

array.array objects also have a .fromfile method which can be used for reading the file, if you know the count of items in advance (e.g. from the file size, or some other mechanism)